The University Rover Challenge (URC), is a premier robotics competition organized annually by Mars Society US during the summer at Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, USA. The challenge is to build a next-generation Mars Rover capable of working alongside humans in future Martian colonies. The problem statement is designed to capture the complex system design requirements in such a scenario. We target the competition as a platform for us to hone our overall engineering skills in design and deployment of an Intelligent Rover System. The system can further be an effective tool for emulating a futuristic life on Mars. The problem statements of the competition encompasses mainly four operational tasks.
Autonomous traversal of a rough, uneven terrain, based on a set of gps coordinates. This highlights the typical task of a Mars Rover operating on a regular Martian day
Collect and analyse soil samples for characteristics indicating the presence of life.
Locate astronauts in the field through the given GPS coordinates and deliver boxes, tools etc. to them, while traversing rough terrain.
Operate on an equipment panel board by flipping switches, plugging sockets, tightening pipes etc.